Her Sinful Saints by Ginna Moran
“I CAN TAKE you home if you’d like. I know you’d rather be scouring the mortal plane for your soulmate.” Micah rubs his warm hand between my shoulder blades, trying to ease my stiff posture.
I bounce on my feet, staring at my target. I should feel bad about torturing a soul in Hell, but this guy lived a twisted life eating people...and not in the good way. “It’s easier to let the others handle it. I can’t see souls like they can. Plus—”
I position my body, holding the ax with both hands. Flinging my arms forward, I release the ax. It sinks into the soul’s chest. He can’t scream, though. Micah shoved a rat in his mouth and gagged him with something that looks suspiciously like a hairy ball sack.
“Plus,” I repeat, turning to Micah. “It’s our time together. I’ve missed you.”
“Yeah?” he asks and guides me to spin toward him. A smile lights his handsome face as he searches my eyes like he can’t believe how lucky he is that I’m here. I love the feeling of his sweet adoration, the purity of it reminding me of right before he jumped from grace.
Standing on my tiptoes, I stretch up and brush my lips to his. “Do I need to tell you a million times to convince you? I’m not scared of your kingdom anymore. I’m having fun.”
Chuckling, he summons a fiery blade in his hand. “Want to hunt some other evil bastards? We don’t have to stay in my kingdom.”
I offer a smile and bob my head. “Whatever takes my mind off things. I’m feeling a bit stabby. Can you use your power to make one look like Cass-hole?”
Using Elias’s nickname for the infuriating prideful angel fills me with a mixture of emotions. I shouldn’t be as upset as I am about Elias sacrificing himself to free my soul and going through another soul cycle, but a part of me fears what happens next. I want Hell to rise. I want to take the throne of Purgatory, and Elias made it possible...but I want him as I knew him in this life. I want my soulmate in the body I love now. Is that selfish? Maybe. I should be grateful he’s not in Hell as a mortal soul, but—
“You have every right to grieve, Raven.” Micah grasps my hand, pulling my attention to him and out of my thoughts. We’ve always had a mental connection, and he can listen to my thoughts, especially with the tether chaining him to Hell and all its power. “Elias was taken from you in the worst way.”
“He was taken from you too, you know,” I murmur, tightening my mouth to keep my lips from trembling. “How are you holding up? I know you only took the tether early to help him.”
Micah’s face softens with my words, and he scoops me into his arms and gets me to wrap my legs around his waist. I rest my forehead to his for a moment, savoring his closeness as neither of us gets out of control. We just be together and enjoy the other’s company. I know Micah is more cautious with me now because of the circumstances and won’t push me. I hate it and love it at the same time. I don’t want him to be careful with me, but I also appreciate it.
“My beautiful heathen. You do not have to ask or worry about me. This isn’t my first experience dealing with Elias’s absence. I just wish you never had to.” He nuzzles his nose to mine. “As for the tether? I chose to take it for more than just getting Elias through. I felt it was necessary. I had done what I needed in the Mortal Realm. Kase and Dante have been working hard in the Mortal Realm for so long, I couldn’t ask either one of them to control Hell, and you need Andre. Lucian will serve us better there too, dealing with Cassius. I’m neither lonely nor bitter. I promise.”
“I bet Heaven regrets everything they’ve done to you,” I say, searching his fiery eyes. “You’re my perfect devil. A fair and just ruler...and way too creative with what you’ve done here.” Waving my hand, I motion to the onyx walls of the palace.
“You haven’t seen anything yet.” Flipping me onto his back, Micah stretches forward, transforming into his massive devil form.
I cling on to his hairy body, squeezing his sides with my thighs to hold on the best I can. Two long tusks jut from his boxy boar-like head, and the cute bastard swats me with his tail. Fire smolders the palace floor before us, setting the onyx ground aglow.
“What the fuck are you doing?” I ask, my shoulders shaking with laughter as he steps forward, rattling the world around us. “I’m going to fall or some shit.”
“Just hold on tight. It’s easier to show you what I want to this way.” Micah stomps forward on all fours, forcing me to bend over and lie flush against his muscular, broad back. “My hound is a bit intimidating since you’ve never encountered one before.”
My brows scrunch together. “A hound? Like a hellhound? I thought Kase and Dante were kidding.”
“Mine is a lot more special than the free-roamers. You’ll see.” Micah jets out of the palace and skids across the smoldering ground.
Souls move and wriggle, some in pieces and others far too big in the belly to stand. It looks as if someone forced a hundred gallons of liquid down their throats and it settled in their middles, dragging their stomachs to the ground and forcing the rest of their limbs with it.
I grip onto Micah’s hair, stabilizing myself. Peering around the hazy land, I take in the view of Micah’s kingdom and the demonic legion that obeys him. No one looks at us or tries to fuck with me, and it feels as if I watch things from a bubble.
“We’re shielded,” Micah mumbles, his gruff voice humming over the screams and shouts from the souls living their worst life after deaths.
“What’s the fun in that? I kind of like it when the assholes grovel.” I scrub my fingers into his hulking body, just exploring him in his devil form. He looks wicked as hell, and it makes me feel powerful how he carries me above the masses. “Like the fucking cannibal. He tried so hard to convince us that he was a decent guy who only had a problem. It’s not like food was scarce.”
“Would that justify his actions to you?” Micah asks, slowing down.
Uh-oh. Here he goes with his interrogation about my morals and what I find redeemable or not. It comes with the whole Purgatory level. If we manage to get Hell in order, souls who find themselves in Hell will ultimately be able to earn their way back into a soul cycle. They will no longer be trapped and tortured for eternity, especially the souls that should’ve found good grace but made a mistake—like me. But at this point, I can’t see why anyone would want to chill with the bird-brains and their righteous attitudes.
Micah teases me by trotting, bouncing me up and down on his back. His movements pull me from my thoughts as he follows the outside of the onyx walled palace. I don’t think I will ever understand how Hell power works. It boggles my mind because Micah can create basically anything out of nothing. His kingdom seemingly goes on forever, but I know all he has to do is think about another kingdom and we will end up there.
“Where exactly do you keep your hellhound?” I ask, shielding my eyes from the suddenly bright flames that light the sky above me.
Micah moves a bit faster, and he doesn’t respond to my question until we reach a vast arched doorway with thick flaming bars caging something inside.
Wicked, animalistic growls rumble from within the cage. The hairs on my arms rise. My heartbeat picks up pace, and I clutch onto Micah tighter. “Whoa.”
“Don’t be frightened.” He sits back on his haunches, forcing me to slide off his back and onto my feet.
I cautiously shuffle around him, keeping close to his body. “Says the beast-man overlord of Gluttony. I’m a snack for most here.”
Chuckling, Micah flicks his tail at me again. “They wouldn’t dare. You’re mine to feast on in pleasure and ecstasy.”
Damn, do I like the sound of that.
I gather my gall and make my way to the front of him. He transforms back into his human façade. Strolling forward, he leads the way and stops in front of the flaming gate. My whole body tenses the second a massive form appears. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting a hellhound to look like, but now that I see it, I realize it was exactly like this. Well, except for the three heads. I always thought that type of monster was just a myth. Okay, I guess I thought all of Hell and Heaven and angels and demons were just make-believe as well. But now, I think I’d even believe in aliens. But I’ve never asked. It’s already so much for me to take in.
“Raven, this is Hound,” Micah says, touching his fingers to the flaming bars and using power to open them. “You don’t have to be intimidated or frightened. It knows that you are mine.”
“Wait a minute. You call this thing Hound? Isn’t that a little...basic?” Mustering the strength to keep my nerve, I strut my way closer to stand beside Micah. I instinctively tuck myself under his arm, and I slide my hand around his back, hugging him close. “Technically, you should have three names for it.”
“I’m not very creative. Why don’t you name the guys?” Micah reaches his hand out and scratches the flames under the middle head’s chin. “I’m sure they would love that.”
I love how Micah has gone from referring to the hellhound as it and instead calls the three-headed beast them. Because clearly, each of the hellhound’s heads looks to have distinct personalities. And despite them being on fire, with bright red eyes, frothy jowls, and coats that look as if they are covered in black goo, these beasts are kind of cute.
“Well,” I say, pointing my finger at the head on the right. The beast stretches his neck forward and bows slightly. I reach out and gently graze my fingers just above the flames on the top of his head between his ears. “I think you should call this one Chaos.”
Micah tilts his head and studies the beast for a moment. “That is actually very fitting.”
“Is that so?” I ask.
“He is a bit hard to handle sometimes. He tends to interrupt the others and causes chaos when he is let loose among the rotten souls around here.” Micah grins with his words like he remembers an incident that happened with the hellhounds.
I move on to the head on the left and let the beast sniff my hand. He puffs out a breath of hot smoke and then licks his sizzling tongue across my fingers. “I think you should name this one Spike.” I reach up and touch the pointed ears on his head. It’s not just two ears either. It looks like the beast has four. Or maybe the two extras are horns? I can’t be certain. “What do you think?”
“I think that is perfect. Isn’t that the name of one of the guys on that show you and Elias sometimes watched?” Micah scratches his fingers under Spike’s chin.
“It’s one of them. Which means that I think I want to name the middle hound Dean.” I grin, thinking how Elias would appreciate the fact that I’m naming Micah’s hellhounds after some characters in our favorite shows.
Micah turns to me and touches my cheek. “He would.”
Silence falls between the two of us as we stare at the three-headed hellhound and just continue to pet it as if it’s a cute fluffy poodle. Screams echo in the distance, and I shift on my feet and look behind me. I’m desperate for Micah to distract me more. I need to move. I need to cut a dick or punch a boob. I just need to get my mind off Elias again before tears prickle in my eyes.
“What do you think about having Dean, Spike, and Chaos, help us pick out the next bastard you practice on?” Micah pushes me back and whistles softly, getting the hellhounds to come out of the kennel.
“That would be incredibly awesome,” I say, swiveling on my feet. “Can I just give them an idea of the type of evil soul I’m looking for, and they’ll help us?”
Micah wiggles his eyebrows with his beaming smile. He obviously loves entertaining me any way he can, which I appreciate. I’m lucky to have him as my teacher of punishment and justice. It helps me feel better, knowing that I’m still his purpose in this eternity, and he enjoys standing with the devils. “That’s exactly what you can do. It’s a lot of fun. The beasts will lead the way, and we can sneak up and scare them from behind. Or maybe you can have them beg for some mercy first.”
“Had I not known you used to be an angel, I think that you would actually be known as Satan instead of Lucian claiming the title of the most notorious devil. Because you are one sexy evil, just devil.” I kiss Micah on the cheek and lace my fingers through his.
“I try my best to fill the position.” Micah swings our hands and lets out another whistle, sending the hellhounds running.
“You do a damn good job,” I say, twisting my body to plant a kiss to his shoulder. “Now, what kind of evil soul should I practice on next. I kind of have a thing for the fire chain that Lucian uses.”
Micah doesn’t get a chance to respond because the hellhounds swing their body around and release a harsh, throaty snarl. I tense and close the space to Micah. Something about the hellhounds’ reaction scares me. I automatically think that something giant, disgusting, and evil is about to start a fight with the king of Gluttony.
“I knew that you liked my fire chain.” Lucian’s deep voice sounds from behind me. “Don’t you think that it should be me teaching you how to use it?”
I don’t know whether I should be annoyed or happy to see Lucian. I still have all sorts of mixed emotions about him. I know he’s trying his best, but I do hold a long-ass grudge. I can’t help it. But I also can’t help the fact that my body goes crazy at just his presence alone, Especially in Hell. It’s like my soul craves his darkness.
“I think Micah has it handled,” I say, gliding my hands up Micah’s chest and to his neck, reaching them around. I hop up and wait for Micah to catch me in his arms. “Isn’t that right? You can teach me how to use any weapon.”
“Maybe if his time hasn’t started seeping into mine.” Lucian narrows his eyes and strolls closer, ignoring the growls sounding from the hellhounds. “It’s time to go, Raven.”
I groan and hide my face in the crook of Micah’s shoulder. Time passes much more quickly in Hell than it does in the Mortal Realm. At least that’s what it feels like to me. I thought I’d get a couple more hours at least.
“Well, Micah and I were in the middle of something. Why don’t you go check on all your dirty, vile souls in your level of Hell, and I will meet you there when I’m ready?” I ease away from Micah’s throat and turn and peek at Lucian for his reaction.
“Not happening.” Lucian’s hot hands clasp my waist, and he pulls me away from Micah. The hellhounds growl louder, but they remain in place. “I have something to show you, and I prefer to do it now.”
“What is it?” I ask, narrowing my eyes suspiciously.
“It’s a surprise.” Lucian spins me toward him and grasps my chin, looking deep into my eyes. “Please, I’ve been waiting all week for my day with you. Just give me a couple of hours.”
I sigh and turn to Micah. “I don’t want to leave you, Micah, but...” my voice trails off.
“I understand, Raven,” Micah says, strolling to close the distance to me. “I like having all of my time with you as well. Plus, I think this will be good for you.”
I look between the two devils. “Do you know what the surprise is, Micah?”
“Don’t you dare fucking say anything,” Lucian says, holding up his hand.
“You do,” I say. I don’t know where Lucian got that I like surprises from, but I actually hate them. I like knowing what I’m getting myself into. With Lucian, I never know. “You have to tell me, Micah. The last surprise that Lucian gave me was sticking his dick on my palm.”
Lucian tips his head back and barks a raspy laugh. Damn it. I could listen to his sexy voice all day when he’s not yelling and being a dick. “You know you loved it. It left quite the impression.”
“I can name a million things that I love more than a surprise dick slap, you perv.” I raise my palms to Lucian, keeping a foot of space between us. “Now tell me what the surprise is, or I’m not going with you.”
Fire lights in Lucian’s dark eyes. A smirk curls across his lips, and he flicks his gaze from Micah and to me. I can already sense what goes on in his mind, and I brace myself. The fucker is not going to give me a choice. Micah won’t stop him either.
I tense and tighten my fingers in a fist, preparing to sucker punch him if I have to. “Don’t you even think about it, Satan.”
“Too late, you bratty little soul.” Lunging forward, Lucian encircles me with his arms and lifts me off my feet. I smack him across the face and try to knee him in the gut, but all it does is make him laugh harder. He loves when I fight. He’s a masochist. He loves all sorts of pain and doesn’t even react when I reach down and sock him in the balls.
“Damn it, Lucian. Put me down.” I thrash, trying to break free.
“No. I’m going to carry your infuriating, stubborn ass all the way to my kingdom. If you don’t start behaving, I will spank you the entire way there. But that’s what you want, don’t you?” Lucian proves that he isn’t lying by flipping me onto his shoulder and slapping his big palm to my ass.
The sting of his smack radiates through my entire body, and I squeeze my legs together. This fucker. He knows exactly how to get to me.
“I am right, aren’t I?” Lucian releases a gruff noise from his throat.
“Shut up and just take me already.” I wiggle until he adjusts me in his arms, forcing me to wrap my legs around his waist.
The cocky bastard drops me a few inches until I feel his boner. “Careful what you say and how you say it, Raven. That kind of sounds like an invitation.”
Ugh. My stupid body loves the sound of that. Apart from punishing bad souls to distract me, I love a good fucking session, and I haven’t given in to Lucian yet. But we both know it’s coming.
“Whatever. Not today, Satan. Just take me to your kingdom, so we can go home,” I say and rest my head on his taut shoulder. “Hell might be getting to me, but not enough yet.”
He hums in my ear. “We’ll see.”
I’m sure we will.